Thursday, November 11, 2010

NY Times & Civil War: Disunion

The New York Times has teamed up with History to write DISUNION, a blog about the lead up to the Civil War. Imagine modern web coverage of the U.S. in the early 1860s, day-by-day! I often find that our history textbooks, even the really good ones like Brinkley and Foner, fail to provide students with a sense of the immediacy and uncertainty of the historical present, often because that is exactly what makes for quality history...the distance and perspective to see things more clearly (or at least more fully). Nevertheless, imagining the historical present is a valuable skill for teachers to develop in students. In the NY Times's own words:
One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, Americans went to war with themselves. Disunion revisits and reconsiders America's most perilous period -- using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded.
It's a really great resource for students to see into the fog of war and the unpredictability of the future.

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